Agenda item

Q&A with the Cabinet Member for Customer Service, Welfare and the Public Realm

Verbal Update


The Panel had a verbal Q&A session with Cllr Seema Chandwani, the Cabinet Member for Transformation and the Public Realm, on issues relating to her portfolio. Mark Stevens, AD for Direct Services was present for this item along with Simon Farrow, Head of Parks and Leisure. The following arose during the discussion of this agenda item:

  1. The Cabinet Member advised that she had a number of reports coming up for Cabinet/Cabinet Member decision. These were the Highways and Street Lighting Investment Plan; Road Danger Reduction Plan; Flooding Investment Plan; and the Parking Management Plan. It was noted that within the Parking Management Plan there would be provisions to provide free parking permits for carers and also the scraping of the £10 replacement fee for stolen Blue Badges.
  2. The Panel asked questions around noise nuisance and the Chair of the LCSP described a recent incident in which a family affected by noise nuisance had been passed back and forth between the police and the Council with neither organisation taking satisfactory responsibility for dealing with it. The person in question was directed to an out of hours recorded message when they phoned the Council and subsequently began regularly reporting the issue during the daytime. It was reported that it took around a month for a Noise Officer to witness the nuisance and that the Abatement Notice had not yet been issued. In response, the Cabinet Member noted that the issue of noise nuisance was under Cllr Dogan’s portfolio but that it sounded as though the complainant had initially been directed through the out of hours call centre. It was noted that the Noise Service was orientated towards nuisance at weekends and only operated Thursday to Sunday. The Cabinet Member advised that she would look into setting up a community trigger for this case and would circulate further details to the clerk. (Action: Cllr Chandwani).
  3. The Chair commented that it sounded as though there were also licensing issues involved in this case.
  4. The Panel sought clarification on whether CIL money could be used for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) funding. In response, to this question, the Cabinet Member advised that there were numerous possible sources of funding for SuDS), including CIL and that all sources of funding had been fully explored.
  5. In relation to a particular flooding incident and the potential to use cellulose crystals, officers advised that a borehole had been dug and that the site was not suitable, due to the ground being made up of London clay which was not porous.
  6. In response to a question about what alternative options were being reviewed to tackle flooding in Hornsey, the Cabinet Member emphasised the importance of the flood works in Queens Wood to the areas overall flood defences, as well as the need to protect the trees in the wood from further instances of flooding.
  7. In addition to the Muswell Hill SuDS scheme and the Queen’s Wood scheme, officers also highlighted the maintenance work that was being done by Thames Water to the Priory Road attenuation tank. Officers advised that the investment into SuDS and the work carried out would provide some resilience to future flooding in the area.
  8. In relation to concerns about poor drainage in Coldfall Woods and the entrances being very boggy, officers acknowledged that there was an issue and advised that they were looking to install new permanent pathways to the wood and hoped that they would be in place by the summer.
  9. The Panel also raised concerns about flooding in and around the baseball field at Finsbury Park and the consequent flooding that this caused on Endymion Road and Williamson Road. In response, officers advised that this particular instance of flooding was caused by the banks of the New River leaking and that the Council was in discussions with Thames Water to resolve this issue. It was noted that Thames Water would need to lower the level of the New River in order to undertake the works required.